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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

Ways To Get Local Currency While Traveling

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

The following is an article “Ways To Get Local Currency While Traveling” by Marc Primo.

This happens a lot more than you would want to. You get off a plane and into another country and discover that you have no local currency in your wallet.

Any frequent traveler would tell you the importance of securing local money prior to traveling abroad. Relying on credit and debit cards just don’t cut it especially when you’re visiting a country that is relatively new to you. Another good thing about carrying a certain amount of cash around is that you get to budget your spending, as opposed to swiping your card for every purchase, then losing track of your limitations and waking up one day to a ridiculously large bill.

At the same time, while some travelers have the notion that they can conveniently swipe their cards with every purchase while abroad, some merchants may require you to pay in cash. If you find yourself in this predicament, worry not as there are some ways you can get local currency when you find yourself cashless in another country.

Look for an ATM. Most countries have them everywhere now, especially in the usual tourism hotspots. While there are charges, they can easily be considered as a minimal fee for the convenience it brings you. Some banks even offer low transaction charges, if not waive it altogether. From the get-go, it would be wise to choose a bank that has international branches around the globe. When opting to withdraw local currency from an ATM, review your potential budget for your travel so you can do it once rather than acquiring several transaction fees from multiple withdrawals. Of course be very careful also when you’re carrying a large amount of cash in a strange place. In doing so, call your bank immediately to inform them that you are abroad. That way they won’t lock out your account due to suspicious activity.

Order Local Currency. Thank God for today’s technology which enables you to order or exchange currencies online. However, you’d want to pick this option only for very dire cases as online currency conversion sites often charges more than the usual fees. Take the time to compare offers and make some calls if you have to and settle for the lowest possible cost. You should also be mindful of your travel itinerary as money arrivals also take some time. You wouldn’t want to miss your money order due to date and address inconsistencies.

Wander the airport for exchange booths. Most airports house currency exchange booths to spare travelers the hassles of being cashless. Just expect the lowest rates as airport exchange booths know the advantage they have in terms of location and accessibility and that costs you money. When left with no other choice though, it’s advisable to whip out your calculator and start computing for what you can deem as an acceptable rate. If the exchange rate for local currency is too low, you can just hurry out of the airport and look for an ATM elsewhere or search for other online alternatives instead.


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